Mr Gan Kim Yong was appointed Minister for Trade and Industry on 15 May 2021. One of his key priorities at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) is to identify new opportunities for growth in support of Singapore’s continued economic development. Mr Gan continues to co-chair the Multi-Ministry Taskforce to direct and coordinate Singapore’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to MTI, Mr Gan was Minister for Health from May 2011 to May 2021. He oversaw efforts to drive Healthcare 2020, a masterplan outlining the Government’s strategy to ensure accessibility, quality and affordability of healthcare in Singapore. Under his leadership, the Ministry of Health invested significantly in building new healthcare infrastructure like acute and community hospitals and expanded the polyclinic and General Practitioner networks. To better prepare Singaporeans for their long-term care needs, enhancements to long-term care financing measures including the Pioneer Generation Package, the Merdeka Generation Package and CareShield Life were launched in 2014, 2019 and 2020 respectively. MediShield Life, a universal medical insurance that covers all Singaporeans for life regardless of health status, was also introduced in 2015.
Mr Gan also helmed the Ministerial Committee on Ageing to drive the formulation and implementation of ageing policies in Singapore, looking into matters such as active ageing, senior friendly infrastructure, and quality aged care.
From April 2008 to May 2011, Mr Gan served as the Minister for Manpower. He led the ministry’s efforts to minimise mass retrenchments through concerted efforts with industry partners during the economic recession in 2009. He also played an instrumental role in the development of manpower policies to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing business environment, and in building a Continuing Education and Training system for a globally competitive workforce.
His other previous appointments include Minister of State for Education (October 2005 to March 2008) and Minister of State for Manpower (October 2005 to March 2008).
Mr Gan entered politics in 2001 and was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Holland-Bukit Panjang Group Representation Constituency (GRC). In 2006, he was re-elected as MP to serve in the Chua Chu Kang Single Member Constituency. He was re-elected as MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC at the 2011, 2015 and 2020 General Elections.
Mr Gan started his career in the Singapore Civil Service at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Home Affairs. In 1989, he left the civil service for the private sector and joined NatSteel Ltd as a manager for Corporate Planning. He was promoted to Executive Vice President of NatSteel and CEO of NatSteel Resorts International and NatSteel Properties in 1996. In 2005, he became the CEO and President of NatSteel.
Mr Gan was awarded the Overseas Merit Scholarship to read Engineering in Cambridge University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree (honours) in 1981. Mr Gan subsequently obtained his master’s degree in Engineering from Cambridge University in 1985.
Born in 1959, Mr Gan is married with two daughters.